Monthly Archives: May 2014

Handling Expenses

Miscellaneous Expenses

There are different ways to handle the little day to day expenses that come up.  Things like when an au pair takes the kids out for ice cream or picks up a gallon of milk.  Some families keep a cookie jar fund, a little cash that they set aside weekly or monthly for this kind of expenses.  Here are some suggestions for avoiding problems with expenses.

Host Families

  • It’s important to be clear about how long this money should last and what types of expenses are approved.
  • Let the au pair know whether or not you expect receipts.

Au Pairs

  • Only spend the money on approved expenses.
  • If it is something you are not sure about, ask first.
  • Put your receipts in the cookie jar in place of the money to avoid any confusion.

Gas and Fare Cards

Host families are responsible for the au pair’s transportation costs:

  • to and from classes and cluster meetings
  • driving the kids

It is a good idea to figure out how much gas an au pair will use for these trips and either put gas in the car or give a gas allowance.   If your au pair is riding to classes or cluster meetings with another au pair, you should offer to share the cost of gas.

Au pairs are responsible for their own transportation at all other times.  You should replace the amount of gas used for personal use.

Photo: Andrea Travillian

Au Pairs vote Au Pair in America as #1!!

The website Au Pair Confessions conducted an au pair agency survey in March 2014…

Au Pair in America is #1!!!!!!


Agency Reviews

Here are the results of our agency survey in March 2014:

1,020 Au Pairs participated and ranked their agencies in four categories from 1 (worst) to 5 (best). The results below present the average ranking in each section.

The majority of Au Pairs, 39 percent, was with Cultural Care, followed by Au Pair in America (APIA) with 29 percent and Au Pair Care with 28 percent.

Only one percent each of the participating Au Pairs were with Interexchange or Expert Au Pair. Two percent were with Euraupair. Please take the low percentage of rankings for these agencies into account, which influences the accuracy of ratings!

#1 EvelynGiggles

Au Pair In America

APIA is the winner of our survey with the best ratings in every category. Most Au Pairs were very satisfied with their local coordinators and the information provided by the agency about the program. The majority of Au Pairs with APIA gave an overall rating of four to five.

  • Cost Ø 3.36‌ ‍
  • ‏Provided Information: Ø 4.32
  • Local Coordinator: Ø 3.64
  • Overall: Ø 4.17

“As soon as I signed up I got a good support from the agency and i got a lot of good and helpful information during the match period. My community counselor is great, she gives me good advises and supports us all in hard times. Without her I couldn’t have made it! ”

“I had a problem and they were very good to me.”

“They were really super professional and helpful. They make sure all references are checked and all childcare hours are actually real. The price was about the same as Au Pair Care, but APIA seems to have a worse insurance so you’d have to buy the extra one to get the same coverage. APIA also only pays the flight back home from NYC so you will have to pay for your ticket to get there. APIA is the only one of the three big agencies that keeps the pictures and videos and applications private.”

“I was never disappointed! Everything worked out for me! If I have to choose again I would always pick Au Pair in America.”

Cultural Care

Cultural Care was the agency with the most diverse ratings. Even though the majority was satisfied with the program information the agency provided, most Au Pairs agreed that the program cost was too expensive compared to other agencies. The ratings for LCC and overall satisfaction didn’t draw a clear tendency; ratings from one to five were equally distributed.

  • Cost Ø 2.45   ‌ ‍
  • Provided Information: Ø 3.79
  • Local Coordinator: Ø 3.18
  • Overall: Ø 3.08

“A lot of extra fees. Communication only worked well if it was in the agency’s favor. They also could have been more honest about the Au Pair workday, it’s a job not a dream come true like pretended before.”

“I had a great year with no problems. Therefore, there was little I had to do with my LCC. She was great all the times I saw her, but that was only 12 times in 1 year.”

“Cultural care is not flawless, but I guess, the best. But therefore the most expensive one.”

“I stayed 2 years with Cultural Care. My first year was great with a really supportive LCC. My extension year was super terrible! Really bad LCC with no support at all from the agency.”

“The matching process sucks and if they don’t feel like working, they just don’t do anything. That ruined the Au Pair experience for a lot of girls, because they had to go home earlier.”

Au Pair Care

Even though Au Pair Care’s local coordinators were rated the lowest of all other agencies, the overall rating for this agency turned out to be better than Cultural Care’s. Au Pairs rated the agency as informative and the cost as pricey but not too expensive.

  • Cost Ø 3.33
  • Provided Information: Ø 4.09
  • Local Coordinator: Ø 3.06
  • Overall: Ø 3.57

“AuPairCare has been a good agency. A little costly at times when it cost around $300 for the extension application. However overall I would recommend the agency to others as the area directors are knowledgeable, and really do care. I have been an Au pair for almost 2 years now with 2 different families and it has been a wonderful and life changing experience.”

“The person that helped me in my home country was brilliant! My LCC here is absolutely useless and our monthly meetings are an hour drive away. And every month it’s the same thing: Coffee.”

“I was super happy and lucky.This agency was awesome and especially the LCC in my area.”

In one year, I only saw my LCC once. She never went back to my place to follow up. The health insurance is a joke and I’m glad I did not get seriously hurt there, otherwise I’d be either dead or sinking in hospitals bills. Even though they make us take many tests and get many medical documents, to check on our health, they feel like it’s not important to have the same documents from the hostfamilies.”

Expert Au Pair

Accurate tendencies are not available due to the lack of ratings. The average numbers below are based on just a small amount of ratings!

  • Cost Ø 4.00
  • Provided Information: Ø 3.37
  • Local Coordinator: Ø 3.12
  • Overall: Ø 3.75

“They are super fast in processing everything and if you write them an email they are responding always really quick! I couldn’t imagine a better agency for me. It’s all very personal and I actually feel like they care for their Au Pairs. They are also a lot cheaper than Cultural Care, which I was with first.”

“Expertaupair is a small agency compared to most others, but it’s not a bad thing. My LCC was carrying and actually tried to be helpful, but often didn’t know how. That’s how the whole agency is: Carrying, but sometimes a little unorganized. Big minus: If it’s not working out with your hostfamily, there are not many families for a rematch.”


Accurate tendencies are not available due to the lack of ratings. The average numbers below are based on just a small amount of ratings!

  • Cost Ø 3.12
  • Provided Information: Ø 4.12
  • Local Coordinator: Ø 3.87
  • Overall: Ø 4.00


Accurate tendencies are not available due to the lack of ratings. The average numbers below are based on just a small amount of ratings!

  • Cost Ø 3.09
  • Provided Information: Ø 9.92
  • Local Coordinator: Ø 3.42

Photo: EvelynGiggles (Flickr)